Trait Sexual Motivation Questionnaire: Concept and Validation

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Trait sexual motivation defines a psychological construct that reflects the long-lasting degree of motivation for sexual activities, which is assumed to be the result of biological and sociocultural influences. With this definition, it shares commonalities with other sexuality-related constructs like sexual desire, sexual drive, sexual needs, and sexual compulsivity.


The Trait Sexual Motivation Questionnaire (TSMQ) was developed in order to measure trait sexual motivation with its different facets.


Several steps were conducted: First, items were composed assessing sexual desire, the effort made to gain sex, as well as specific sexual behaviors. Factor analysis of the data of a first sample (n = 256) was conducted. Second, the factor solution was verified by a confirmatory factor analysis in a second sample (n = 498) and construct validity was demonstrated. Third, the temporal stability of the TSMQ was tested in a third study (n = 59).

Main Outcome Measure.

Questionnaire data.


The exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses revealed that trait sexual motivation is best characterized by four subscales: Solitary Sexuality, Importance of Sex, Seeking Sexual Encounters, and Comparison with Others. It could be shown that the test quality of the questionnaire is high. Most importantly for the trait concept, the retest reliability after 1 year was r = 0.87.


Our results indicate that the TSMQ is indeed a suitable tool for measuring long-lasting sexual motivation with high test quality and high construct validity. A future differentiation between trait and state sexual motivation might be helpful for clinical as well as forensic research. Stark R, Kagerer S, Walter B, Vaitl D, Klucken T, and Wehrum-Osinsky S. Trait sexual motivation questionnaire: Concept and validation. J Sex Med 2015;12:1080–1091.

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